I can understand why some reviewers might be dismayed by the wait, the atmosphere, and the service at Sally's. Certainly, the restaurant scores low in these categories. But the people who come religiously to Sally's come for pizza--nothing more.
Having gone to college in New Haven and having spent the subsequent 13 years returning frequently for the singular purpose of measuring Sally's, Pepe's, and Modern against one another, I can state with confidence that, its rough edges aside, Sally's does offer the city's finest pizza. Its crust is the apotheosis of New Haven's chewy-and-blistered paradigm, its sauce is the simple essence of tomato, and it achieves a more perfect "meld"--the cohesion of crust, sauce, and bubbly cheese into a single entity--than its New Haven rivals.
Bacon, onion, and mozzarella is a revelatory pie: the onions are shaved impossibly thin (unlike the rough dice at Pepe's), and the bacon is cooked only enough to render some of its fat into the sauce. Nobody who knows pizza would get a clam pie here, so don't; but any traditional mozz-plus-toppings pie, particularly sausage-and-mushroom and pepperoni-and-pepper, is an excellent way to bask in the wonder of Sally's pizza oven.
If you want an experience that balances food with atmosphere and service, go elsewhere. If, however, it's the best pizza you're in search of, you simply must go to Sally's.
"Fresh tomatoes are available most of the year at Sally's, even when they are not formally in season."
"Oh, what a luscious crust! It's thin, but it's got a good chew."
"Sally's does not formally list a "round-the-world" pizza on its menu, but we ordered this one with the works. Note the blistered blackened edge to the crust: to aficionados of thin-crust pizza, this is a thing of beauty."
"Pictures of Frank are everywhere on the walls of Sally's. This is the best one, but there are plenty of 8x10s of him as well as other celebrity fans of Sal Consiglio's place."
"Sally's remains what it has always been: Wooster Street's neighborhood pizzeria."